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The Value of Confidential Policy Information: Persuasion, Transparency, and Influence

Minaudier, C. (2022). The Value of Confidential Policy Information: Persuasion, Transparency, and Influence. The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 38(2), pp. 570-612. doi: 10.1093/jleo/ewab020


Transparency of the lobbying process is hailed as an effective means to limit the influence of special interest groups, but should transparency also apply to the information obtained by policy makers (PMs)? This article extends theories of informational lobbying by explicitly modeling the choice of PMs to obtain information before interacting with lobbyists. This approach reveals a new channel for the value of confidentiality: extracting evidence from special interest groups. It shows that, counter-intuitively, the influence of special interest groups can increase as PMs become more expert. These results shed light on the relationship between confidentiality, good governance, and influence.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Economics
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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